In Maryland, you can get divorced for almost any reason that you can imagine. However, while you can end the romantic relationship that you have with your spouse, you generally cannot terminate the relationship that you have with your child. Therefore, it’s important that you take the minor’s needs into account while going through the divorce process.
Be reasonably transparent
Your child will likely have questions about what is happening. Ideally, you’ll simply state that the relationship between you and the other parent isn’t working out and that it won’t have any impact on how you feel about your child. It’s also important to stress that your child did nothing wrong and had nothing to do with the divorce taking place. Finally, be sure to stress that you are always available to talk or take other steps to help with the upcoming changes.
Not everything needs to be disclosed
Mediation may be an ideal way to settle a divorce if you have children because they won’t need to participate in settlement talks. Furthermore, they don’t ever have to know what the terms of the final deal are as it won’t be a matter of public record. Going through mediation may also be preferable as it is a collaborative as opposed to an adversarial process. This may preserve your mental health and make it easier to be there for your child.
Avoid trashing your spouse
Regardless of how you feel about your spouse, that is still your child’s other parent. Therefore, you don’t want to say anything that might undermine your spouse’s ability to be a good parent or say anything that might minimize the positive feelings your child has for that person.
Helping your child through a divorce may be used as evidence that you are capable of being a custodial parent. Even if you aren’t granted custodial rights, a strong relationship with your child may make it easier to obtain generous visitation rights that may include the ability to host your child overnight.